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Friday, December 5, 2008

The Camera Doesn't Matter

Too many people are caught up in the "better equipment means better photos" syndrome. I've had people at youth sporting events tell me that if they had a camera like I have they could take photos as good as I. When they do get a better and more expensive camera they find out that their photos are no better than when they had the little "point & shoot" model and they cannot understand why. If I try to explain to them that the camera doesn't matter I usually get the response of "well look how good your camera takes photos"; and they can't understand that the camera is just a tool that the photographer uses.

Andreas Feininger the famous French photography once made the following statement:

"Photographers are idiots of which there are so many - say, "Oh, if only I had a Nikon or a Leica, I could make great photographs." That's the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. It's nothing but a matter of seeing, thinking, and interest. That's what makes a good photograph. And then rejecting anything that would be bad for the picture. The wrong light, the wrong background, time and so on. Just don't do it, no matter how beautiful the subject is."

Yes, having a good camera can help in the process but it's the person behind the camea that takes the photograph. Just to give an example of this I've included this photo. It was taken on a back country road in Garrett County Maryland with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC33 a 3.2 MP point & shoot camera through the front windshield of a moving vehicle. It was a scene that caught my eye and it looked like I was riding in a black&white photo, except for the little Red sign. So Many people have asked me how I got the Red sign in a black&white photo and they can't believe that this is a color photograph.

Camera manufacturers and retailers want you to believe that a more expensive and better camera is going to give you better photographs. However, if you can't take good photographs now a more expensive camea isn't going to help. You need to learn to use what you have now and then move up as you get better in creating your photographs. The camera really doesn't matter. What does matter is what you do, how you see, and having the ability to capture that moment in time.

If you would like some examples of what good photography looks like, check out the sites under "My Photo Links" and you will see some excellent examples of what great photography is when the photographer doesn't worry about his camera(s).
I do love my world, even the cold winters, and so will you. Yeah, this is my world and you are welcome to it.